Since the inception of this blog, I have asserted that independent thinking and action is one of the most important facets of our humanity, and one of the defining functions of personality. This is because I understand a very old (and yet very true) adage that states that “….the best ideas are common property.” Stated another way, the best principles/maxims/rules of living are understood by a great number of people, and not by a select few (those in today’s society who consider themselves the “elite,” or the so-called “intelligentsia”). Of course, in today’s America, the exact opposite is the prevailing vision, and teaching in modern schools and universities reflects this to a great extent.
It is thus refreshing to see a real-life experience–a direct antithesis to the prevailing vision–documented that proves (yet again) the truth of this ancient maxim.
The best ideas truly are common property–common property of strong-minded individuals who understand the power of independent thinking and action.
This interesting anecdote should make you stop and think before you proclaim that you are a victim of your circumstances. Circumstances are things that are beyond our control, there is no doubt….but our reaction to them is firmly planted in the realm of things we can contain and control.
Grandmother: “Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee — Which Are You?”
A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the third she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the girl replied.
Grandma brought the young lady closer and asked her to feel the carrots. The girl did and noted that they had become soft. Grandma then asked her granddaughter to take an egg and break it.After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.
Finally, Grandma asked the girl to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich flavor, then asked, “What’s the point,grandmother?”
Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity–boiling water–but each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
Think of this: Which am I?
Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?
Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?
(NOTE: This article shows how an ordinary person can use ordinary objects to impart extraordinary wisdom and common sense that will serve us well in life.
While I don’t agree with every iota of philosophy expressed in this story [think, last two paragraphs], I really like the principle the three objects’ transformations illustrate. More on my interpretation in a future post.)
I know I’ve said a lot about the issue of gun control over the last few months. I’m also aware the news is full of stories about gun violence and the need to “do something” about it. Usually, the ones feeding us these reports are the ones lecturing us that the government really needs to do something about this important issue.
There are two things to remember. The first is that the Second Amendment was not drafted to give Americans the right to own guns for hunting or other sporting purposes. The Second wasn’t even drafted to give Americans the right to own weapons for self-defense. Freshly released from the bondage of tyranny, the men who founded this country wrote the Second Amendment to give the people the right to own weapons to defend themselves from any tyrants. This, of course, extended to the government, should those in charge forget their office as public servants of the people, and begin to attempt to run rough-shod over the personal property and rights of the people under them.
The second thing to remember is that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The Bill of Rights encapsulates several of those “…certain, inalienable rights…” that each of us has been “…endowed [with] by [our] Creator…” The Constitution clearly spells out the process for amending its provisions. Until such a process has been followed on this matter, any “law” that is passed to ensure we take the “morally defensible” “high road” is neither law nor morally defensible nor the high road to anywhere. Except perhaps The Pit. Or possibly Europe.
Of course, there are many things that these statements skim right over, including the redefinition both of the Constitution’s meaning (think “original intent”) and the rights of the American people (think “universal health care,” “too big to fail,” and “welfare.”) . I don’t want to get bogged down with a technical discussion of these matters now…look for more in later posts.
What I do want to do is share an important bit of history with you, my readers. Some of you may not be aware of the event to which I refer. I know I wasn’t before I read about it on a friend’s Facebook wall. While I know that not everything on Facebook is true, I verified this and it is an actual historical event. A Google search renders several good entries, including this excellent article at History.com:
The following originally shared on Facebook by Jerry Howe
A LITTLE HISTORY TO THINK ABOUT:
December 29, 2012 marked the 122nd Anniversary of the murder of 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. These 297 people, in their winter camp, were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection”. The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms. The Calvary began shooting, and managed to wipe out the entire camp. 200 of the 297 victims were women and children. About 40 members of the 7th Cavalry were killed, but over half of them were victims of fratricide from the Hotchkiss guns of their overzealous comrades-in-arms. Twenty members of the 7th Cavalry’s death squad, were deemed “National Heroes” and were awarded the Medal of Honor for their acts of [cowardice] heroism.
We hear very little of Wounded Knee today. It is usually not mentioned in our history classes or books. What little that does exist about Wounded Knee is normally a sanitized “Official Government Explanation”. And there are several historically inaccurate depictions of the events leading up to the massacre, which appear in movie scripts and are not the least bit representative of the actual events that took place that day.
Wounded Knee was among the first federally backed gun confiscation attempts in United States history. It ended in the senseless murder of 297 people.
I don’t normally break up a block-quote, as you know, but let that sink in. Nearly THREE HUNDRED PEOPLE. Murdered. For obeying thelaw.
Before you jump on the emotionally charged bandwagon for gun-control, take a moment to reflect on the real purpose of the Second Amendment, the right of the people to take up arms in defense of themselves, their families, and property in the face of invading armies or an oppressive government. The argument that the Second Amendment only applies to hunting and target shooting is asinine. When the United States Constitution was drafted, “hunting” was an everyday chore carried out by men and women to put meat on the table each night, and “target shooting” was an unheard of concept. Musket balls were a precious commodity and were certainly not wasted on “target shooting”. The Second Amendment was written by people who fled oppressive and tyrannical regimes in Europe, and it refers to the right of American citizens to be armed for defensive purposes, should such tyranny arise in the United States.
As time goes forward, the average citizen in the United States continually loses little chunks of personal freedom or “liberty”. Far too many times, unjust gun control bills were passed and signed into law under the guise of “for your safety” or “for protection”. The Patriot Act signed into law by G.W. Bush, was expanded and continues under Barack Obama. It is just one of many examples of American citizens being stripped of their rights and privacy for “safety”. Now, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is on the table, and will, most likely be attacked to facilitate the path for the removal of our firearms, all in the name of “our safety”.
This is the crux of the matter. Once we elevate safety as king, above freedom, we will always, always, ALWAYS surrender our freedom and our rights so that we can be “safe.” In reality, however, this is like the appeaser in Churchill’s famous illustration. He “…feeds the crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” Safety, as it turns out, isn’t really all that safe. Back to the text:
Before any American citizen blindly accepts whatever new firearms legislation that is about to be doled out, they should stop and think about something for just one minute-
Evil does exist in our world. It always has and always will. Throughout history evil people have committed evil acts. In the Bible one of the first stories is that of Cain killing Abel. We cannot legislate “evil” into extinction. Good people will abide by the law, and the criminal element will always find a way around it.
Evil exists all around us, but looking back at the historical record of the past 200 years, across the globe, where is “evil” and “malevolence” most often found? In the hands of those with the power, the governments. That greatest human tragedies on record and the largest loss of innocent human life can be attributed to governments. Who do the governments always target? “Scapegoats” and “enemies” within their own borders…but only after they have been disarmed to the point where they are no longer a threat. Ask any Native American, and they will tell you it was inferior technology and lack of arms that contributed to their demise. Ask any Armenian why it was so easy for the Turks to exterminate millions of them, and they will answer “We were disarmed before it happened”. Ask any Jew what Hitler’s first step prior to the mass murders of the Holocaust was- confiscation of firearms from the people.
Wounded Knee is the prime example of why the Second Amendment exists, and why we should vehemently resist any attempts to infringe on our Rights to Bear Arms. Without the Second Amendment we will be totally stripped of any ability to defend ourselves and our families. [emphases mine]
Don’t tell me. I’m not crazy; I’m not demented; I’m not a bitter, clinging gun owner; I’m not a sociopath. I’m one of 280,000,000 gun owners who didn’t kill anybody yesterday.
So don’t tell me any of that.
I’m a peaceable, law-abiding citizen who believes that I’m commanded by God to follow the rules that the government lays down. However, I also believe that when the government lays down laws that contradict the supreme law of the land (the Constitution), and my life (the Bible), I must obey God rather than man.
The facts are in, and they are clear. The gun control presently in effect is neither controlling guns nor reducing crime. It is simply increasing the likelihood that a law-abiding citizen will become the next victim of a homicidal maniac with a gun. This is because criminals (hope you’re sitting down) don’t follow laws.That’s why we call them criminals. Okay?
One more thing: The criminals that commit gun crimes? Most of them use guns stolen or otherwise acquired illegally. This renders null and void the argument that registration will make it easier to locate the criminal in a firearms-related incident. It will simply enable law enforcement to trace the weapon back to the (often-unsuspecting) legal owner. This means more headache for the law official and the law-abiding citizen.
Gun control is pawned off on us as the moral high ground. A baser lie has never been told! I’ll put it to you simply: Advocacy for gun control is the belief that a woman being found in an alleyway, brutally raped, and strangled with her own pantyhose, is somehow morally superior to that same woman explaining why her would-be attacker is lying dead on the pavement with seven (or eight) bullets from a large-caliber handgun lodged in his chest. In other words, the murder of this lady is more justifiable (or more appealing?) than that lady shooting the sicko who would seek to debauch her.
Before you accuse me of being vile or using reprehensible imagery to promote my point, let me remind you that we are talking about criminals and violent crimes, two vile and reprehensible subjects if there ever were any.
Two parting thoughts:
One. If the leftists control the moral high ground, as they repeatedly claim, why do they use morally reprehensible language and tactics to defend it? (After all, the conservatives aren’t the ones stealing elections, overturning cars, throwing pies, and taking baseball bats to those who disagree with their views.)
Two. Gun control is not legislation to make it more difficult to own and use guns in self-defense against attackers (be they rapists, home invaders, common burglars, or government agents). Gun control is using two hands, taking time to practice and prepare, knowing your weapon and your capabilities with said weapon, and consistently hitting your target.
Have you ever visited Townhall.com? This liberty-minded website carries articles by many well-educated and articulate authors whose views are the exact opposite of many in the mainstream media. And yes, for you conservatives who are convinced that such a person cannot exist, they do, and their numbers are surprisingly high.
If your primary source of news is the television, reading the articles on this site may be quite a shock to your system that’s been acclimatized to the bias and spin the major networks put on their stories; therefore, I recommend that you consider easing into this new routine. Read an article or two a day as a beginning. After a week or two, increase your intake to four or five. After a month, go to ten if you have time. After a couple months, consider signing up for the Townhall Daily email, which will deliver ten to fifteen columns on subjects you specify.
You may have to step out of your comfort zone to begin this process of considering alternative views. Will it be easy? No, probably not. Listening to those who disagree with us on points of opinion is always hard. I’ve addressed people with whom I come in contact on this issue for nearly two years now, and I still struggle to allow someone who disagrees with me have their say in a debate. Reason tells me, however, that doing this is the only way to engage someone in a rational debate and have a chance of changing their mind.
The truth is, while some seem to think that everyone is as set in their ways and opinions as they are, many people haven’t given some of these topics a whole lot of thought. To be successful in engaging and winning over the culture, we must go out and kindly encourage people to consider both sides of an issue before coming to a conclusion.
I’d like to recommend one article as a jumping-off point. Larry Elder has written “‘Gun Culture’ — What About the ‘Fatherless Culture?’” This extremely insightful article that delves past the surface and addresses one of the major issues of American society, and is an example par excellence of the rational and thoughtful analysis behind the columns on this site.
So, my fellow Americans (undecideds, moderates, and liberals alike), let me invite you to consider another point of view: the logical view. Visit Townhall.com today, and let’s begin a journey toward rational, reasoned, logical thought and debate.
I’ve already stepped out on this path…will you join me?